Waste income: how countries benefit from separate waste collection

Switzerland: garbage business

Switzerland is famous not only for its clean air and alpine climate, but also for one of the best waste management systems in the world. It is hard to believe that 40 years ago landfills were overflowing and the country was in danger of an ecological disaster. The introduction of separate collection and a complete ban on the organization of landfills have borne fruit – now more than half of all waste is recycled and takes on a “new life”, and the rest is burned and converted into energy.

The Swiss know that garbage is expensive. There is a basic waste collection fee, which is either fixed for homeowners or calculated and included in the utility bill. You will also have to fork out when buying special bags for mixed waste. Therefore, in order to save money, many people sort waste into categories on their own and take it to sorting stations; there are also collection points on the streets and in supermarkets. Most often, residents combine sorting and special packages. Throwing away something in an ordinary package will not allow not only a sense of responsibility, but also the fear of huge fines. And who will know? Trash Police! The guards of order and cleanliness use special technologies to analyze waste, using scraps of letters, receipts and other evidence they will find a “pollutant” who will have to shell out a large sum.

Garbage in Switzerland is divided into almost fifty different categories: glass is distributed by color, caps and plastic bottles themselves are thrown away separately. In cities, you can even find special tanks for used oil. Residents understand that it cannot simply be washed down the drain, because one drop pollutes a thousand liters of water. The system of separate collection, recycling and disposal is so developed that Switzerland accepts waste from other countries, receiving financial benefits. Thus, the state not only put things in order, but also created a profitable business.

Japan: Garbage is a valuable resource

There is such a profession – to cleanse the homeland! Being a “scavenger” in Japan is honorable and prestigious. The inhabitants of the country treat the order with special trepidation. Let’s remember the Japanese fans at the World Cup, who cleaned the stands not only for themselves, but also for others. Such upbringing is instilled from childhood: kids are told fairy tales about garbage, which, after sorting, ends up at recycling stations and turns into new things. In kindergartens, they explain to kids that before throwing away, everything needs to be washed, dried and tamped down. Adults remember this well, and they also understand that punishment follows a violation. For each category of garbage – a bag of a certain color. If you put in a plastic bag, for example, cardboard, it will not be taken away, and you will have to wait another week, keeping this waste at home. But for a complete disregard for sorting rules or a mess, a fine is threatened, which can reach up to a million in terms of rubles.

Garbage for Japan is a valuable resource, and the country will demonstrate this to the world as early as next year. The uniforms of the Olympic team will be made from recycled plastic, and the materials for the medals will be obtained from used equipment: mobile phones, players, etc. The country is not rich in natural resources, and the Japanese have learned to conserve and use everything to the maximum. Even garbage ash goes into action – it is turned into earth. One of the man-made islands is located in Tokyo Bay – this is a prestigious area in which the Japanese like to walk among the trees that grew on yesterday’s garbage.

Sweden: Power from trash

Sweden started sorting garbage quite recently, in the late 90s, and has already achieved great success. The “revolution” in the ecological behavior of people has led to the fact that now all the garbage in the country is either recycled or destroyed. Swedes know from the cradle what color container is intended for: green – for organics, blue – for newspapers and papers, orange – for plastic packaging, yellow – for paper packaging (it is not mixed with plain paper), gray – for metal, white – for other waste that can be incinerated. They also collect transparent and colored glass, electronics, bulky garbage and hazardous waste separately. There are 11 categories in total. Residents of apartment buildings take garbage to collection points, while residents of private houses pay to have a garbage truck pick it up, and for different types of waste it arrives on different days of the week. In addition, supermarkets have vending machines for batteries, light bulbs, small electronics and other dangerous items. By handing them over, you can get a reward or send money to charity. There are also machines for receiving glass containers and cans, and in pharmacies they take expired medicines.

Biological waste goes to the production of fertilizers, and new ones are obtained from old plastic or glass bottles. Some well-known companies support the idea of ​​​​recycling garbage and make their own goods from it. For example, Volvo a few years ago created a couple of hundred cars from metal corks and additional PR for itself. Note that Sweden uses waste for energy production, and even additionally buys them from other countries. Waste incineration plants are replacing nuclear power plants.

Germany: order and practicality

Separate waste collection is so in German. The country, famous for its love of cleanliness and order, accuracy and observance of the rules, cannot do otherwise. In an ordinary apartment in Germany, there are 3-8 containers for various types of waste. Moreover, there are dozens of trash cans for different categories on the streets. Many residents are trying to get rid of the packaging of goods in the store. Also, bottles are brought to supermarkets from home to return some of the money: initially, an additional price is included in the cost of drinks. In addition, clothing and footwear collection points are located near shops, parking lots and churches in Germany. She will go to new owners, perhaps it will be worn by residents of developing countries.

Scavengers work with the punctuality characteristic of burghers, who take away household appliances and furniture. It is curious that the release of the tenant of the house must be booked in advance by calling. Then the cars will not have to drive around the streets in vain, looking for the left things, they will know exactly where and what to pick up. You can rent 2-3 cubic meters of such junk a year for free.

Israel: less garbage, less taxes

Financial issues still worry the people of Israel, because the city authorities have to pay the state for every ton of unsorted garbage. The authorities have introduced a weighing system for trash cans. Those who have it easier are given discounts when paying taxes. Tens of thousands of containers are placed all over the country: they can throw away commercial packaging made of polyethylene, metal, cardboard and other materials. Next, the waste will go to the sorting factory, and then for processing. By 2020, Israel plans to give “new life” to 100% packaging. And the recycling of raw materials is not only beneficial for the environment, but also profitable.

Note that Israeli physicists and technologists have developed a new method – hydroseparation. First, iron, ferrous and non-ferrous metals are separated from the garbage using electromagnets, then it is separated into fractions by density using water and sent for recycling or disposal. The use of water helped the country to reduce the cost of the most expensive stage – the initial sorting of waste. In addition, the technology is environmentally friendly, since garbage is not burned and toxic gases are not emitted into the atmosphere.

As the experience of other countries shows, it is possible to change the way of life and habits of people in a fairly short period of time, if necessary. And it is, and for a long time. It’s time to stock up on sorting bins! The purity of the planet begins with the order in the house of each of us.


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